Dunkeld 2016

Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary - Dunkeld 2016

XJ40 30th Anniversary Celebration at Dunkeld, Scotland – 28th and 29th August 2016

In 2008 XJ40 owner and keen enthusiast, John Ratcliffe saw the need to bring XJ40 owners together, and set up XJ40.com, with the encouragement of Rob Jenner. It was never perceived as a club, but intended to be a focal point and a useful resource.

When Rory Semple came up with the idea of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the XJ40 at Dunkeld in Scotland, where the original press launch took place, I knew this was going to be a very special and nostalgic event, and one that I must attend.

As the idea developed, JEC XJ40 Forum Co-ordinator, Naki Kouyioumtzis became involved and ex-Jaguar engineer Ed Abbott was asked to invite some of those who were involved in the production and  launch of XJ40. These included Jim Randle, Peter Taylor, Howard and Ann Hunt, Paul Skilleter, Jonathan Partridge, and Jaguar Specialist David Marks.

Jim Randle was Jaguar’s Director of Engineering, responsible for bringing Project XJ40 to fruition, and is famed for the Randle Handle which became a recognised feature of  all  automatic  XJ saloons from 1986 to 2009, as well as the X-type and S-type.

Peter Taylor worked for Jaguar from 1967 to 1990, before leaving to set up his own business PT&A (Vehicle Testing and Specialist Drivers). In 1986 he was Manager of Special Vehicle Preparation (Press Cars).

Ed Abbott was, at the time of the launch of the XJ40, Principal Engineer, Vehicle Proving, and now owns Abbott Jaguar

Howard Hunt was XJ40 Launch Co-ordinator, working with Peter Taylor for Special Vehicle Preparation (Press Cars).

Ann Hunt (nee Masterson) was working at Dunkeld House Hotel as Reception Manageress and met Howard Hunt at the time of the  XJ40 launch. They married in 1988 and the local paper carried the headline “Why an XJ40 Brought Romance to Dunkeld” – a copy of which is included at the end of this feature. Having lived in Kenilworth ever since, they made a nostalgic return to the hotel for the XJ40 30th anniversary! (a special weekend in many ways, it turns out that unbeknown to either party, they were neighbours of Rob Jenners’ late parents!)

Paul Skilleter, well known Jaguar journalist and founder of Jaguar World, was at Dunkeld in 1986 and returned in 2016 to share with us his memories of an exhilarating drive on the original press launch route, and how impressed he was with Jaguars all new XJ6, code named XJ40. Paul Skilleter Books

David Marks, who owns the only known remaining prototype XJ40 (D38 BRW)  was invited to speak about the XJ40, sharing his experience of rebuilding the prototype from chassis upwards in 2004, when the JEC published his work in a month by month detailed series of articles. David’s other work includes restoring a Mark 1 for Jaguar Heritage and turning the Daimler Corsica from a dummy trimmed out bodyshell to a fully engineered road legal motor car, with powertrain and functional electrics. David Marks Garages

Jonathan Partridge represented Jaguar Heritage and made it possible for two XJ40’s from the heritage collection to attend the event – an early 3.6 and the very last XJ40 ever built. (Jonathan drove the early example and Paul Skilliter the last example M94 FVC).

Dunkeld House Hotel was originally built as the country retreat of the 7th Duke of Atholl. Ann Hunt kindly sent me this picture of all the hotel staff with a press car taken at the time of the launch of XJ40. Dunkeld House Hotel

Dunkeld House Hotel staff - Jaguar XJ40 Launch 1986

Despite its lack of popularity among many people, the XJ40 was the Jaguar I first fell in love with when it was launched – I remember someone pointing out, back in 1986 ‘Look, that’s the new XJ6’ and my reply ‘Now Jaguar have got it right!’ and it will always be my favourite model, with the X300 being a close second. So I was really looking forward to the XJ40 30th anniversary, as was my partner, Rob Jenner.

With a minor collection of XJ40’s, it was seriously difficult deciding which two we were going to take to Dunkeld! Initially we could have chosen from an XJ12, two  4 litre Sovereign Majestics, the unique 3.2 Majestic (based on the ‘Gold’ run-out model), a ‘paint test’ XJ6 finished in ‘Special Ivory’ (a colour that never made production), or the only XJ40 XJR produced in Sapphire Blue.

Then the Sapphire Blue XJ40 XJR was sold to Chris Prescott (who  took a Daimler Double Six to Dunkeld) and one of the two 4 litre Sovereign Majestics was sold to Paul Keating, who took it to Dunkeld.

So, as it transpired, it was the two latest additions to the collection that we chose to take to Dunkeld – a 1988 3.6 Sovereign (known as ‘Opium’) and a 1993 Daimler Majestic Insignia.

Last minute preparations completed on Saturday, plans were made to meet Paul Keating at the Marriott Hotel in Edinburgh at 9am on Sunday, and drive the three XJ40’s together to Dunkeld.

We arrived at Dunkeld around lunchtime, to find a handful of Forty’s already there and a fun packed programme of events ahead of us! On checking in to the hotel we were given an envelope loaded with an impressive amount of information and details about the XJ40 30th anniversary, prepared by those who had proposed and organized the event.

We had plenty of time to spruce up our Forty’s and chat with fellow Forty owners. All was very pleasant, with the only downside being the attitude of other non-Jaguar residents who resented our efforts to try to have all the Forty’s lined up in the car park ‘a la launch’ …. gosh, I didn’t know people could be so rude, despite us politely approaching them and tactfully asking them for a section of the car park!


Very little has changed in 30 years! XJ40's parked at Dunkeld 1986 (Paul Skilleter) and 2016 (Paul Keating)

Very little has changed in 30 years! XJ40’s parked at Dunkeld 1986 (Paul Skilleter) and 2016 (Paul Keating)


Those who attended

Year Model Colour Registration Owner
1986 Pre-production 3.6 Sovereign Manual Nimbus White D38 BRW David Marks
1992 Daimler Six Flamenco Red C20 MOD Rory Semple
1986 3.6 Sovereign Solent Blue D200 DDU Ally Mitchell
1988 3.6 XJ6 Sovereign Gold E604 JJU Jaguar Heritage
1986 2.9 XJ6 Tungsten D149 YUT James McCulloch
1988 Daimler Six Black E678 TYJ Davide Costantini
1988 3.6 Sovereign Bordeaux Red F114 BKP Richard Edgell
1992 3.2 XJ6 Brooklands Green DP-PH-07 Coen Voogd
1986 3.6 Sovereign Nimbus White 55-XTV-4 Leontien Van Brummelen
1994 Daimler Six Majestic Insignia White Pearl L614 WWV Rob Jenner
1988 3.6 Sovereign Bordeaux Red E264 OMP Letitia Mace
1994 4.0 Sovereign Majestic Morocco Red H18 SXK Paul Keating
1994 Daimler Double Six Majestic Insignia Mineral Green BP 96635 Steinar Skauen
1993 4.0 Sovereign Insignia Peppermint 5-XHK-39 Pim S………
1994 4.0 Sovereign Solent Blue M94 FVC Jaguar Heritage
1992 4.0 Sovereign Kingfisher K606 EYV Nick Carter
1991 3.2 XJ6 Brooklands Green H620 XYM Rodney Butler
1992 XJR Manual Black Cherry K544 SDD Naki Kouyioumtzis
1994 XJR Manual Morocco Red L992 RVC Chris Walker
1993 Daimler Double Six Westminster Blue L815 CTN Chris Prescott
1994 XJ12 Morocco Red L161 FNB Charles Atkinson
1994 Daimler Double Six * Ivan Ford
1994 XJ12 Flamenco Red L644 WDU Simon Mulcahy
1993 Daimler Double Six Solent Blue 14-GHF-4 Rens Swart
1990 4.0 Daimler Bordeaux Red H36 JLD Carl Tunnicliffe
1992 3.2 XJ6 Signal Red K20 WSL Jim Webber
1993 4.0 Daimler Solent Blue L678 GGM Derek Spijker
1993 Daimler Double Six Jade Green STD FG 60 Florian Granzeier
1991 3.2 XJ6 Regency Red VY 42 174 Leo Jensen
1990 4.0 Sovereign Solent Blue H684 XHV Ged McGrath
1994 3.2 Gold Brooklands Green M391 CLA Robin Griffiths
1994 3.2S Brooklands Green M57 ALA Luke Clark
1994 4.0 Sovereign Jade Green K840 AJO Chris Holmes
1994 3.2S Flamenco Red L111 RNS Carl Allison
1994 4.0S Morocco Red M360 RBV John Ratcliffe
1988 3.6 Daimler Arctic Blue E890 TDW Unknown**
1989 3.6 XJR Arctic Blue G403 VKR Jack Marchant

*Sold before event – Ivan attended in a non-Jaguar.

**The owner of this XJ40 just happened to turn up at the hotel and knew nothing of the event. Sadly, he declined our invitation to stay.


Those who attended in non XJ40’s

Jaguar model Owner Title
Jim Randle Jaguar Director of Engineering (retired)
 E-type Peter Taylor former Manager, Jaguar Special Vehicle Preparation (Press Cars)
 XJ6 Series 3 Manual Ed Abbott former Principal Engineer, Jaguar Vehicle Proving
Howard and Ann Hunt XJ40 Launch Co-ordinator/Dunkeld Hilton Hotel staff member 1986
 X351 Ray and Kay Searles JEC Events Chairman
 X300 Steve Howard JEC X300 Forum Co-ordinator
 XK120 Colin Stewart
 X300 Joe Norman
 X-type Colin Shippey
Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary Celebration, Dunkeld

A commemorative group photo of the XJ40 30th Anniversary taken on the lawns at Dunkeld House Hotel


Programme of Events


2.30pm – The Garden Room had been set aside for our exclusive use, and housed an exhibition which had been thoughtfully set up by Paul Skilleter. The significance of The Garden Room as pointed out by Paul Skilleter, who was one of the journalists at the original launch,  is that all the briefings etc were held in this room for the original launch.

4.00pm – The official Meet and Greet in The Garden Room

6.00pm – Dinner was available in the hotel restaurant from 6pm, and we all fell into informal groups to drink and dine together.

9.00pm – Following dinner, presentations in The Garden Room by Jonathan Partridge, Ed Abbott and Paul Skilleter led us through the history of the XJ40, its development , launch and marketing.

Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary Route Book

Download Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary Route Book

Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary Route Book supplied courtesy of Jaguar Heritage



After an early breakfast, we leathered the morning dew off of the cars, before attending the drivers registration and briefing in The Garden Room. Each XJ40 driver was given a ‘Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary Commemorative Drive’ booklet and rally plaque.

Each rally plaque was numbered, and the number related to a departure time.

The booklet was professionally produced and contained full details of the route, including tulip rally style instructions, names of coffee and lunch stops etc, drivers notes, a list of all (pre-booked) participants and their car details, a brief history of the XJ40 and the original press launch route, and emergency contact numbers. The booklet was illustrated with pictures of the original press launch at Dunkeld in 1986.

The route followed, as closely as was practicable, the original press launch route from 1986, and was researched and adapted by Howard and Ann Hunt to suit our needs,  with coffee and lunch stops built into it.

9.30am – Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary Commemorative Drive

David Marks was allocated number 1, and with Jim Randle as his co-driver, he was first to leave.

Rob Jenner and I were allocated numbers 11 and 12, so Rob’s departure time was 9.46am.

Ed Abbott was at the start to see us off at 90 second intervals and as I drew up, he chuckled and said ‘This will be the longest 90 seconds of your life!’

Rob’s co-driver was Ivan Ford (Ivan was on the list, but had sold his Daimler XJ81 before the event)

Jim Randle’s friend, Terry Griffin was my co-driver and navigator for stage one. Almost at the end of this stage, 4 miles from our rendezvous at Lochearnhead ‘Opium’ clocked 40,000 miles at 10.54am on 29th August 2016 just as we were negotiating a series of bends, all of which was witnessed and recorded by Terry – a small achievement to anyone else, but this minor event meant a lot to me – my 28 year old XJ40 reaching 40,000 miles on the Press Launch route on the 30th anniversary celebration of the XJ40, and witnessed by a close friend of Jim Randle – what could be more fitting? A wonderful memory to cherish forever!

After morning coffee at Lochearnhead, Jim Randle drove my XJ40 for the next 25 mile stage of the route with his friend Terry, as rear seat passenger, and I navigated. Another memory to cherish!

Jim Randle driving Letitia Mace's 3.6 Sovereign at Dunkeld (photo: Paul Skilleter)

Jim Randle demonstrates the ‘Randle Handle’ while driving my 3.6 Sovereign, known as ‘Opium’, on the Press Launch route at Dunkeld 2016 (Picture courtesy of Paul Skilleter)


Jim Randle, Terry Griffin and Paul Keating joined Rob and I for lunch at Kenmore, after which the plan was for Rob to drive Jim and Terry back to the hotel, but it transpired that there was a slight deviation in the route when Jim once again took the helm of one of the XJ40’s, this time our Daimler Majestic Insignia, in order to prove to Rob that they do corner well at speed !!

It was predicted that the first cars would begin to arrive back at the hotel circa 2.30pm. By the time everyone had returned, the hotel had enlisted their own photographer to take pictures of selected XJ40’s on the lawn in front of the lake. My early 3.6 Sovereign was one of those selected, along with Rob Jenner’s Daimler Majestic Insignia, David Marks prototype, and Pim’s Sovereign Insignia. A second set of shots featured the XJ40’s which currently reside in Scotland, these being my 3.6 Sovereign, Rob Jenner’s Daimler Majestic Insignia, Paul Keating’s Majestic, Ally Mitchell’s 3.6 Sovereign, James McCulloch’s 2.9 XJ6, plus Colin Stewart’s XK120. We took this opportunity to gather everyone together for the commemorative group photo, which appears earlier in this feature.

Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary - Dunkeld 2016

My early 3.6 Sovereign, Rob Jenner’s Daimler Majestic Insignia, David Marks prototype, and Pim’s Sovereign Insignia

Jaguar XJ40 30th Anniversary - Dunkeld 2016

XJ40’s which currently reside in Scotland, these being my 3.6 Sovereign, Rob Jenner’s Daimler Majestic Insignia, Paul Keating’s Majestic, Ally Mitchell’s 3.6 Sovereign, James McCulloch’s 2.9 XJ6, plus Colin Stewart’s XK120

Pictures courtesy of Neil Fordyce. These and other pictures of the event are available to view or purchase HERE


Judging of the cars then commenced, with Jim Randle (Jaguar Design Director in charge of XJ40), Paul Skilleter (renowned Jaguar Journalist), Ed Abbott (XJ40 Vehicle Proving), Howard and Ann Hunt (XJ40 Launch Co-ordinator/Dunkeld House Hotel Head Receptionist 1986) and Jonathan Partridge (Jaguar Heritage)  being given the task of selecting what they thought was the nicest XJ40 at Dunkeld.

4.00pm –  The Garden Room, David Marks presentation.

David spoke at length about the XJ40 using his own pre-production Prototype (D38 BRW) as an example.  He finished by referring to an interesting list of press cars he has compiled. He is currently in the process of researching the history and final outcome of these XJ40’s. From this research it would appear that the XJ40 Press Launch Fleet consisted of numbers D21 BRW to D44 BRW, of which only D38 BRW remains.

Following David Marks presentation, we all retired to our rooms to dress for dinner and The Garden Room was set out with dining tables, ready for our return.

7.00pm – Presentation of Awards in the dining room.

XJ40 30th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Seating Plan

XJ40 30th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Seating Plan courtesy of Ann Hunt


The tables at our XJ40 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner were named after those who were involved in Project XJ40.

Rob and I were honoured to be seated at the top table, named after Sir John Egan, and Rob had been asked to present the awards.

The spirit of endeavour award rightfully went to Florian Granzeier who, after setting out in his 1990 Chasseur Stealth then had to return home and swap it for another XJ40 after encountering problems. So, after a false start, unperturbed he continued his journey and made it to Dunkeld. Sadly, it would have been the only Chasseur Stealth there, so the spirit of endeavour award was at least a consolation for such a huge disappointment.

The furthest travelled award went to Steinar Skauen from Norway.

Rory Semple, for putting forward the idea of celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the launch of the XJ40 at Dunkeld, was presented with the Cult Models prototype 1:18 scale model of an XJ40 XJR in Regency Red. This superb model was created as a limited edition and is already sold out! I understand that other similar models are under discussion, so if you are interested, keep an eye on the website, or contact Keith Powell, who stocks Cult models.

Cult Scale Models

Keith Powell – Email – Phone: 07739 131178


The winning cars ……….

First Letitia Mace 3.6 Sovereign
Second  Ged McGrath 4.0 Sovereign
Third  Carl Allison 3.2S

Highly Commended

David Marks Pre-production 3.6 Sovereign Manual
Rob Jenner 4.0 Daimler Majestic Insignia
Rens Swart Daimler Double Six
John Ratcliffe 4.0S
Pim S……. 4.0 Sovereign Insignia
Simon Mulcahy XJ12
Derek Spijker 4.0 Daimler
James McCulloch 2.9 XJ6


I didn’t envy the judges the task they’d been given, as there was not a bad car at Dunkeld, in my opinion, although I had not had time to go over all of the cars in fine detail, so I sat and listened to Rob as he read out the list of winners in reverse order thinking that my car might have been highly commended…. but no, she wasn’t!

So was it too vain to hope that Opium might be in the first three? I listened – she wasn’t third, she wasn’t second …..

Finally, Rob declared the winner of the award, stating that this was very difficult for him, as the award was in the name of his late father, Alan Jenner, also involved in Project XJ40! It had occurred to me that although my XJ40 was a lovely example, she was amongst other cars of an extremely high standard and she had not been mentioned in the list of those who were highly commended, but as Rob  read out the registration number of the winning car, ‘E264’ he paused for a moment and the penny dropped and I found myself finishing the number off out loud …. ‘OMP’ – I was absolutely astonished and overwhelmed!

I cannot express what a wonderful day this was – I waited a long, long time for this XJ40 and now she had not only been driven by Jim Randle, the man responsible for bringing the XJ40 into the world, but she had been voted car of the show at the 30th anniversary of the XJ40 !!

As Rob sat down, Jim Randle stood up and one more award was announced, and after a brief speech, Jim Randle turned to Rob Jenner and presented him with a ‘Lifetime Award for services to XJ40’. Rob and I were both speechless. Rob has for a long time been known as the XJ40 guru – in fact, his knowledge of the cars and our joint passion for them is one of the reasons we initially met.

Could anything ever surpass this?

We both felt that the awards we received were exceedingly generous. All of the XJ40’s at Dunkeld were stunning, and all of the people at Dunkeld have made the model what it is, keeping it and Jaguar alive! Rob and I hold those two awards on behalf of all those present at Dunkeld – we hope you will all stay in touch and send us as many pictures as you have, for our archive and we look forward to meeting up again at the next XJ40 anniversary!

Menu - Dunkeld - XJ40 Launch and 30th Anniversary 7.30pm – Awards done, it was time for Dinner! The menus depicted; on one side, the menu for the 1986 launch dinner; and on the other, the menu for the 30th anniversary dinner!


9.00pm – Presentations by Peter Taylor and Jim Randle, focussed more on the engineering of the XJ40 and rounded off a perfect  evening.  Some of us then retired to the bar, into the small hours, to discuss XJ40’s and plans for the future!



Following breakfast with newly made friends, we all began to check out of the hotel and bid our final farwells.

Before we left, David Marks test drove Opium with a view to rectifying a couple of issues pointed out by Jim Randle, otherwise, both agreed she was ‘sublime!’

Pim and Cassandra left for Berwick in their Peppermint Insignia and arranged to meet us and come with us to Edinburgh JEC BBQ that evening, which we felt would be a nice way to wind down after all the excitement of the weekend. (see Brucie’s Diary: September 2016)


As testament to the impeccable engineering of this wrongly maligned model, not a single XJ40 failed on us during the event – bear in mind that they ranged in age from 22 to 30 years !!

Many thanks to Jim Randle and his team for creating such a wonderful car for us all to enjoy for many years to come!

Many thanks to everyone who made this event possible! For those who worked very hard to organise it, and for those who made the effort to attend and thereby make it a success!

Before the event I had tried to persuade several  XJ40 owners to attend, without success, so those who were there represent the cream of XJ40’s – their owners really understood and  valued the significance of the venue – there was not a bad car there!


The idea of a coffee table book to commemorate the event has been suggested and put forward to Paul Skilleter of PJ Publishing. In order to see if this is viable, please register your interest HERE


Links to the 30th Anniversary of the XJ40 at Dunkeld -28/29th August 2016

To appreciate the event in full, you really need to see all the pictures, and to date these include those listed below. Between all of us who attended Dunkeld 2016, so many excellent pictures were taken, that I have kept pictures in my report to a minimum, and strongly suggest that you use my report as a starting place from which to explore the many other reports and pictures which record this event.

If you know of any others, please contact Xclusively Jaguar so that we can add them to the list.

Xclusively Jaguar Facebook album ‘XJ40 Dunkeld 2016’

Pim’s overview of the event can be found on XJ40.com:  https://www.xj40.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=997590

The Dunkeld thread goes way back, but action starts here, if you wish to read through post by post: https://www.xj40.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=995996&start=510

Direct link to Pim Stoutens pictures on Flickr:

Dunkeld: 30 years of XJ40 – Part 1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pimgmx/se … 2123712251

Dunkeld: 30 years of XJ40 – Part 2: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pimgmx/sets/72157670246384814

Neil Fordyce’s dedicated Dunkeld album: http://www.neilfordyce.com/pstore/gallery.login.php?id=134 The hotel’s official photographer. Password for the album is Jaguar with a capital J

Aart’s dedicated Dunkeld Album: https://myalbum.com/album/Og27NFjoOCbS A well-designed site, worth the visit!

Paul’s photobucket account: http://s1379.photobucket.com/user/h18spk/library/?sort=3&page=1

Rory’s Jaguar-themed photobucket: http://s885.photobucket.com/user/rorysemple/library/jaguars?sort=3&page=1

Carl: photobucket album set to ‘private’. Pictures in the Dunkeld topic on this page: https://www.xj40.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=995996&start=540

Simon: photobucket album set to ‘private’. Pictures in the Dunkeld topic on this page: https://www.xj40.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=995996&start=560

Derek’s Youtube video: https://youtu.be/wP1luH98CT0

Rens illustrated story on XJ40.com: https://www.xj40.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=995996&start=599

Article on Dunkeld, as recorded by Jonathan Partridge, in  ‘THE TRUST’ (Jaguar Heritage News) – August/September 2016

Dunkeld House Hotel – Jaguar XJ40 Reunion

Brucie’s Diary – September 2016

Xclusively Jaguar News – October 2016 News Round Up

XJ40 Prototype Survivor – What happened to the XJ40 Press Cars after the launch?

Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club magazine – October 2016 issue

Jaguar World Monthly magazine – November 2016 issue


Comments from others (posted in the order they arrived)

John Ratcliffe

Back in June 2008 I was sat in the conservatory feeling dejected after making quite a few phone calls being told by various that I was wasting my time creating XJ40.com.

I was then given a name and number, much to my surprise I found myself speaking to a chap who I had never met telling me to do it and giving me so much encouragement I found myself lifted and he inspired me to press the button.

Who was this chap? ….. of course it was Rob Jenner!

From that evening with just 2 members (Rob and Me) never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that 8 years later it would bring so many like minded people together at what must be, apart from the launch, the best XJ40 event ever!


At first we didn’t think we would make it to Dunkeld as Soni wasn’t feeling good at all.

We had ended up cancelling our hotel booking and I had arranged for ChrisT to take the prizes in our absence.

Then on Friday afternoon Soni was feeling better but not perfect and she asked if we could still make it.

The next hour was a manic rush, yes the cattery still had space for Purdey but the hotel sadly couldn’t book us in for the Saturday night we had originally planned for.

The hotel was fantastic we basically shunted the days along by one and we were booked in..

Saturday night was a manic packing session that carried on early the next morning, planning to depart at 6am we finally left home at 7.30am.

Now to say I was a bit nerveus, is a bit of an understatement. To take a 22yr old out of the garage, check the fluids, tyres etc then to embark on a 700 mile round trip was going to be a test of fire.

First stop was the local Shell Station to top up the tank and refresh the 2yr old fuel already in the tank. On starting Fatcat after the fuel stop she promptly died – I can’t tell you what was going on in my mind….on the second attempt and after a bit of coaxing she started…..phew..

We had planned a few stops on the way up but I didn’t want a repeat of the non starting problem so we decided it was non stop all the way. If she broke down at Dunkeld we had just a few experts there to get us going again.

The run up was fantastic, a bit nerve racking at first but as time went on I settled into the drive.

Rob’s tip of over-inflateing the tyres for the first part of the journey helped banish those flat spots and she just wafted along.

After 5 hrs we arrived in Dunkeld over shooting the hotel entrance, but a quick u turn saw us driving down that magnificent driveway.

Driving down that last section being directed by Rob, what a welcome we had..

The rest of the weekend was just a blur, busy but just superb.

There was no politics, no bitching etc etc that goes on at some events.

It was just one big happy family.

The “Rally” again was fantastic, what a route.

I was worried that Fatcat was sluggish on the first 20 miles but on stopping for petrol in Crief I realised I’d left the handbrake on …doh…ah well that’s the rear brakes de-rusted.

The sight of 6 Forties running in convoy along the Loch on the run down to Kenmore was amazing.

On the subject of Kenmore I don’t know what the locals thought when every spare piece of parking space was taken up by Jaguar’s finest….

I missed out on most of David Marks talk as I was preparing for my own few words at the prize giving…

Again another fantastic evening with well deserved prizes and it was a great pleasure that Jim Randle accepted to give Rob the lifetime achievement award.

Another notable moment was after the dinner; a few of us gathered in the stairwell, drinking and chatting until 2am, where plans for next years Germany run were beginning to hatch…


Rob Jenner

To all of those who contributed to such a memorable weekend, a massive thank you from Letitia and I, there was an atmosphere about the whole event which I can rarely remember happening before, and, I’ve done a few!!

Only yesterday in a phone call, one participant quoted “I’m still buzzing from it all”, and, have a look at the internet, its full of references to the events, Face Book, JEC, 40.com, maybe the 40’s time has finally at long last arrived

Highlights, well, too many, but if I had to take one memory, Jim Randle driving my Daimler Majestic, and quoting “this is how we made XJ40 to be, its sublime”, then“lets see how it handles then”, bloody marvellous, never to be repeated, one to treasure

Thanks to one and all, but, a special one I think for Anne and Howard for the time in planning a stunning route, and, I love the story of how they met, icing on the cake imo.


Paul Skilleter

Paul Walton has asked me for two pages on the event for Jaguar World. I am plugging through it all right now… which is hard work, but nice to re-live it all!


Ed Abbott

Good to hear from you, and it was a pleasure to meet you at Dunkeld, and congrats again in having a lovely “award “ winning car there.  !!

I am sure we would all have liked to have 3 more days there to get to know each  other a bit better ….

I cannot add anything photo wise to the event as there is a substantial amount on XJ40.com   as you know.

I first got wind of this event about this time last year and saw that Rory and Naki  were hoping to find ex-Jaguar people involved with the original launch. From the outset I said to both of them it was their gig and I did not want to be seen to highjack any elements of it.

I knew all those Jaguar  people and set about getting them involved, and volunteered my services via Rory…

I knew Howard very well professionally at Jaguar and I was best mates with his Brother Clive….who came to see me last year…   bearing in mind I left Jaguar in 1985.  I have been in contact with Howard over the last 3 years as I restored my 1979 Series 3 XJ6,  and I asked him if he would help with the routes from the original launch. Luckily Ann was keen to help as she has relations in Perth.  Over 6 months I discussed with Howard what we wanted and in the absence of anyone “in charge “ of the event I decreed we needed a 60-80 mile route with refreshment stops.   Ann and Howard went up in June to reccie all this and report back.  We then decided on the details.

In February 2016 I got on to Jonathan Partridge at JDHT to support the event.  Due to pressures of work  he ignored my requests (his admission)  and it was not until May time when I met him at Leamington Spa at 2 prominent Jaguar funerals that I could get any commitment from him to get involved.

Paul Skilleter was always up for the event and we have been in contact almost daily about it over a 9 month period, Paul and I have been in touch on Jaguar stuff over the last 7 years…

Peter Taylor was my mentor and friend from Jaguar 1973-85  and I persuaded him to come..

Jim Randle took a lot more convincing, and he would not initially commit to the event.  However as my ex-grand boss he was won round after several phone calls…

I did get on to Sir John Egan, but he was out of the country for the whole of August.

So as you can see my main role was getting all the Ex –Jaguar lot actually there, and helping to shape the event.

I also said fairly early on to Naki and Rory that we needed the meeting room for 2 days, not just the Monday…and the event need broadening up to a bit more than just a meeting in the car park..

So with the imput from all the associated XJ40 friends and Gurus the event was a cracker…

By the way,  I have got a Jaguar website www.Abbottjaguar.co.uk  if you are interested.


Steinar Skauen

A very nice event indeed and a big cheer to everybody responsible for it!


Jonathan Partridge

Sue and I both thoroughly enjoyed it as well and the fact that both the JDHT cars ran without a hitch was an added bonus!


Chris Holmes

Just taking the opportunity to thank you in writing for what was a well-organised, memorable and historic event. For me, meeting the regular contributors to the magazine was really valued, as their knowledge and enthusiasm has been influential to many.

Ann’s personal help was also appreciated. Well done to the whole team.

Thank you again,


Howard Hunt

We were approached in late April by Ed Abbott to ask us if we would attend an event at Dunkeld House Hotel being organised by the XJ40 forum, headed up by Rory and Naki, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Press Launch of XJ40, I being on the original Jaguar launch team as Project Engineer/Test Driver in the Press Cars Department.

Ed had taken on the task of approaching Jaguar people that took part in the original launch and managed to sign up Prof Jim Randle, Mr XJ40, and Peter Taylor, my manager in Press Cars. Unfortunately Sir John Egan, although he would have liked to have been there with us, had other commitments. Paul Skilleter, journalist and Jaguar historian, and Jonathan Partridge from Jaguar Heritage Trust were also on board in what was gradually forming into a team to assist Rory and Naki.

I was the only one to know and have copies of the original routes. On looking at them two things were immediately obvious – firstly the main route used by journalists was too long for our requirements (the only complaint by journalists at the time was that the main route was a little too long) and with the passing of time the routes lacked some of the modern safety requirements. There were two shorter routes used by the journalists that suited the timetable that were possibilities, but their stop en route was at a distillery – not allowed today.

Ann and I volunteered to visit Dunkeld to do an up to date tulip following one of the original routes, but modified to miss out the distillery visit, and to find and add two attractive stops for coffee and lunch. We were then asked by Rory, since we were going to be at Dunkeld anyway, if we would talk to the hotel where there was some confusion as to exactly what was required by the Club.

As former Head Receptionist in 1986 and latterly Front of House Manager at the hotel Ann was highly qualified for this job and was subsequently asked to take on the planning of the entire social/hotel side of the event.  (Ann and I met on the launch at Dunkeld, a story which was very well received during the weekend!) I personally liked Ann’s nostaligic touches like finding the original menu from 1986 and naming the tables for dinner after Jaguar personalities involved in XJ40’s progress from design to launch, and she worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure it all ran smoothly.  Come the day we all enjoyed an outstanding event.

After Ann’s achievements I am claiming full responsibility for the route, the beautiful stops at Lochearnhead and Kenmore – and the weather! It really was an amazing event which has added to XJ40’s profile immensely.  Well done to everybody on the team.

My only regret was that time restraints prevented me from saying a few words about the other major XJ40 launches, all of which I took part in – a thought inspired by seeing such beautifully preserved examples of cars from all of those occasions.

It was an enormous pleasure to meet so many enthusiastic XJ40 owners and their families and our thanks to everybody for making us so welcome at your Club event.   Definitely a weekend to remember!


Ann Hunt

Howard Hunt (XJ40 Press Cars) and Ann Masterson (Dunkeld Hotel Reception Manageress) at Glen Lyon I finally found and scanned the original cutting from the local rag – in real life it’s a grotty sepia/brown colour, but still readable! I’ve also attached a photo of us with a 40 up Glen Lyon, roughly Spring 89.

We look so young! Those were the days, eh, so much ahead of us! Happy days!

Why an XJ40 brought romance to Dunkeld

Download PDF “Why an XJ40 brought romance to Dunkeld”


As everyone has commented above, this was a truly special event with a unique atmosphere – everyone present contributed to its success, with vows to stay in touch and work together in the future for the joint good of the one thing that bound us all together – XJ40. So far, this vow has been honoured with everyone sharing photos, information and their own personal memories and view of the event, and so this report could not have been done by me without the help of everyone who came to the 30th anniversary of the XJ40 !!

My sincere thanks to XJ40 friends, old and new, to those who travelled to Dunkeld with or without an XJ40, from near and far, and to Rob Jenner for marshalling the Forty’s into the available spaces and fending off the rather rude non Jaguar drivers!!


Please help me with my (ongoing) report  on Dunkeld, as I want it to be as comprehensive as possible.

I would like to pull together EVERY link and reference to the event on the internet and add them to my report so that they can be accessed by anyone, regardless of whether or not they use Facebook, XJ40.com, JEC/JDC websites etc etc.

If you have photos, please send them to me via email or dropbox at Letitia@exclusively-jaguar.co.uk

If you have placed photos on Facebook and they are open to the public, please send me the link so that I can add a link to them to my report.

If you have seen a reference to the event anywhere (in print or on the internet) please let me know.

Please let me have links to any references made on XJ40.com so that the links can be added to my report, to feed visitors back to the Dunkled 2016 post on XJ40.com, so that in the future nothing is missed by anyone referring to this event.

If you have further ideas or comments, please contact me at Letitia@exclusively-jaguar.co.uk


Picture credits

Paul Skilleter

Neil Fordyce

Ann Hunt

Paul Keating

All those mentioned on XJ40.com


Metric Tyres

One final request:

If you own an early XJ40 with metric tyres, please let me know, as I want to pass this information on to Dunlop and Jaguar to make them aware that there is a market for these tyres!

Similarly, if you need parts which are no longer available, for ANY XJ40 please let me know so that I can pass this information on to Jaguar.

Email: Letitia@exclusively-jaguar.co.uk


Books on XJ40, its development and the original launch in 1986

If you want to know more about the XJ40, I can recommend all of these!

Andrew Whyte – Jaguar XJ40: Evolution of the Species

Philip Porter – Project XJ40: The inside story of the new XJ6

Nigel Thorley – You and your XJ40